We all like to be right, but it shouldn't be about making someone wrong!

By | 2018-04-07T23:22:47-04:00 January 27th, 2015|forecasting, Life, mental health, snow, weather|

Yeah, it’s a heavy title inspired by a not so heavy occurrence, but one that actually can weigh us down in other facets of our lives. Stick with me, it will make sense eventually.  I’m in New York City, where we had battened down the hatches and cleared the shelves of bread, water, and apparently Kale (shout out to DS for this one), in preparation for a “potentially crippling and historical storm,” according to my weather app. Well “Juno”, as the storm was named, turned out to be just a regular January snow experience, as opposed to #snowmageddon2015. The movie of the same name was way more exciting, but maybe not as pretty to watch. So you can only imagine how the naysaying began, people took to Facebook, Twitter, and more, to downplay or even play up the predictions. There was bitching about the lines at the grocery stores, there were many pictures of wine and liquor followed by the comment “I have everything I need,” (should I be worried about them?), there were also plenty of people slamming the forecasters well before the storm was expected. We know weather can change with the breeze (see how I did that?), therefore we should all know, that it’s better to be prepared than not be prepared. Schools were canceled, mass transit shut down, and states of emergency put in place for New York and New Jersey. Juno, however, decided not to be such a big deal. For NYC, where there were predictions of 2-3 feet of snow, we ended up with less than a foot, several inches less. Of course, the Facebook messages and tweets were all filled with positive statements and missives of relief and relaxation, right? WRONG!!!! The status updates and 164 characters were all nasty comments about stupid weather people, and stupider Mayor, and “flizzard” of 2015, and “snow joke” (saw that one a few times.) Would it have been so difficult to offer thanks to the forecasters for making sure we were ready? The good news, is that the negativity was ultimately replaced by many people playing in the snow, making snowmen, and apparently still pleased about their liquor cabinets. So the next time you find yourself being right about something, enjoy it, but make sure it’s because you earned it and not because someone else made a mistake.

Bearrrrrrr, it's cold! (C'mon that was good!)

Bearrrrrrr, it’s cold! (C’mon that was good!)

Stay well.

Did you take your Totem out in the snow today? Send us a pic to info@totemtamers.com. Did you lose your Totem in the snow? Well click on any of the Totems on the page to get yourself a new one!!

Totems around Town!

By | 2018-04-07T23:22:47-04:00 January 23rd, 2015|animals, Life, shopping, stress relief|

A little shopping trip into a funky store, and Owl connects with a friend!

Whooooooo, me?

Whooooooo, me?

You never know who you’ll find when you’re out and about, so always have your Totem handy!! Send us any pics of your Totem around Town ,and you can see them here! Email pictures to info@totemtamers.com.

Stay well.

Don’t have a Totem to take with you? Get one today!! Just click on any of the Totems on the page and shop now!

Never too late to dream!

By | 2018-04-07T23:22:47-04:00 January 21st, 2015|Dreams, Equality, Liberty, Life, Music|

We celebrated the birthday this week, of a man who had a dream. I had intended to post a happy birthday blog, honoring Dr. King and his dream. I got too busy and couldn’t get to it on Monday. Then yesterday, more life got in the way and I was managing the schedule of three kids, myself and even the dog (yes, he has a schedule, too!) Once again, no blog post. Then it hit me, it’s never too late to honor someone who had a vision of unity and hope, it’s never too late to say thank you to someone who had the courage to stand up for what he believed in, it’s never too late to dream. Happy birthday and thank you Dr. King! Last night, as our President delivered the State of the Union address, Dr. King’s dream was floating in the space around us all. We heard the President talk about how far we have come, and yet remind us that in so many ways, we are still a long way from realizing the dream.

Dream of reflection.

Dream of reflection.

This is the view Dr. King had when he delivered his “I have a dream” speech, more than 50 years ago. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and looking out across the reflecting pool, I am humbled and awe-inspired. We all have the ability to dream, and in the United States of America, we all have the right to dream. It makes no matter how big or small, how lofty or far-reaching, how minor or how grand, as long as you exercise that right to dream! You dream of being a rock star? Jam on! You dream of being a scientist? Study on! You dream of being a teacher? Lead on! That’s the beauty of being able to dream, there are no limitations. Dr. King’s dream wasn’t out of reach, and yes, look at how far we have come, but still, so far to go.  Dr. King’s dream requires a collective, all of us, dreaming together. Working towards the same reality where we are all treated equally, where you can love who you want to love, work and earn what you deserve, where you can live without fear for being who you are, where we can all rest our heads on our pillows at night and have sweet dreams instead of nightmares. In the words of another dreamer, Steven Tyler, “Dream until your dreams come true.”

Stay well.

Keep a Totem by your bed while you dream to keep you calm even in your sleep! Click on any of the Totems on the page to shop for your dream today!

Totems that lunch!

By | 2018-04-07T23:22:47-04:00 January 16th, 2015|dining, food, Life|

Seems to be a lunch theme this week! Totem Tamers had the absolute pleasure of dining at a great and fancy shmancy restaurant this week, so we just had to get a picture!

Yum!

Yum!

Sometimes restaurants, especially in NYC, can be really pricey, so go for lunch instead!! Still may be a tad expensive but definitely not as much as dinner might be, and you get to experience the deliciousness without feeling overwhelmed by the check! Also helps if you go with at least 4 people because then you can share and taste more of the menu!! Glad I had the opportunity to do just that, because the company was just as good as the meal!! Splurge on yourself occasionally, we all know you deserve it!!

Stay well.

If you do go out for a great meal, why not share it with a Totem, and then share the picture with us for our “Totems Around Town” feature!! Send your pics to info@totemtamers.com and include where your from and where you are in the picture! If you don’t have a Totem to take around town, get one today by clicking on any of the four Totems on the screen!

What's in your lunchbox?

By | 2018-04-07T23:22:48-04:00 January 13th, 2015|childhood, Life, parenting|

I set my kid up today to get teased and he was a willing participant. My oldest turned 15 the other day and he’s all kinds of awesome (c’mon, I’m his mom!), and that includes his palate. He’s gone through stages of course, of the chicken finger and plain noodle variety, but in the last couple years he has ventured out and it has certainly made it more fun for me! My middle son is also getting adventurous, and I’ll wait for the little one to hop on the train eventually. Yesterday, my middle son suggested we hit the “salami store” in our hood, on the way home from the orthodontist. Anyone who has ever gone through the whole orthodontia madness understands that I was willing to do just about anything for my kids after the appointment. So “salami store” we went! (The restaurant/store is actually called Salumeria Rosi, and it is lovely!) We came home with a varied selection that included Prosciutto, Braseola, and Wild Boar salami. All unique flavors and each kid had his favorite. Anyway, fast forward to me making lunch for my oldest to take to school this morning, and I was inspired! I offered to make him a charcuterie box. He was intrigued and I was thoroughly motivated. As he was chowing on his pancakes, I was meticulously putting together his exquisite lunch box. It occurred to me then that kids would absolutely tease him when he unpacked his lunch. I explained that they would tease him mostly because they wouldn’t “get it”, but also because they would want to share it with him! He was cool with it. So I sent him off with this:

Charcuterie for a cutie!

Charcuterie for a cutie!

Charcuterie and a juice box, what could be better? For those of you wondering, the box from left to right includes:Extra Sharp Cheddar, Smoked Gouda, crackers, Braseola (air-dried beef), more crackers, Prosciutto, and some Jack cheese!

I promise you this doesn’t happen often, and this is the first time I’ve ever done a lunch as sophisticated as this. Usually it’s nutella on white bread, a bag of chips, and the ever present juice box, but this was fun!! I can’t wait to hear how it went at school and see if this becomes a regular request. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever sent for lunch?

Stay well.

Lunchtime at school can certainly be an anxious time, why not include a Totem in your lunchbox! You can’t eat it, but it will certainly help keep you calm. Just click on any of the Totems on the page and get yours today!

Nous Sommes (we are) Charlie!

By | 2018-04-07T23:22:48-04:00 January 10th, 2015|death, Life|

The last few days have been tough watching the horror unfold in Paris. A city that holds such romance for me because, even though I’ve never been there, everyone I know that has ever been there, says it’s magnificent. My longing to visit remains in tact and is even emboldened after what the city has been through. That ignorance continues to creates hate in the world, is what leads to these terrible events. I sit here and type, and every stroke of the keyboard, every letter, every click, is the sound of freedom. My freedom. Your freedom. We have the freedom to say and write whatever we want, and that is how we flourish and grow and nurture each other. Every time someone puts pen to paper, there is inspiration flowing to the universe. Every time someone puts paint to canvas, a story is told. It may not be my story, and it may not be your story, but it’s a story that belongs to all of us, even if only understood by a few. We need to protect that freedom now, more than ever.

I write, and I edit, and I re-write, and continue to edit. I consider my words and there are certainly plenty that haven’t seen the light of day through this blog, but plenty more that have, and I am grateful every time I get something out there. Even if no one sees my words, my freedom of expression exists. However you express yourself, you must find a way to live your freedom. We may find our expression through other peoples words and art, and that is just as much your own expression as it was the person who originated it. Again, that freedom belongs to all of us! Everyone who typed “Je Suis Charlie” realized their freedom. Everyone who has ever shared the words of a poet, or sang someone else’s words, has realized their freedom. In the wake of this aftermath and with all the healing that needs to happen in Paris, we owe it to them, to ourselves, to realize our Freedom. Nous Sommes Charlie!

Realize your Freedom!

Realize your Freedom!

Stay well.

If you need a Totem for inspiration, just click away on any of the Totems and shop for your expression!

Parenting: A full-time job with benefits, no vacation, and little to no training!

By | 2018-04-07T23:22:48-04:00 January 5th, 2015|children, co-parenting, divorce, Life, parenting|

Sign me up! Oh yeah, I guess I already did that almost 15 years ago, and then decided I could take on two more positions on top of the original hire. Should we see how long I can drive this metaphor into the ground? Oy!! Parenting is hard!! So is infanting, toddlering, pre-teening, teenager-let’sseehowmuchgrayhairIcangivemyparents-ing, etc., etc., etc.! This was sort of the conversation I had with my middle the other day when he was expressing his frustration over something video game related that naturally involved his younger brother. In the moment of trying to restore calm and explain the situation, it occurred to me that I had no freaking clue what I was talking about! It sorta occurred to my son as well, and he called me on it. It was then I decided to be straight with him, and I flat out said “Dude, I’m learning on the job here!” Then I went a step further and explained that this is my first attempt at parenting a middle child, and consequently his first attempt at being a middle child! It diffused the situation immediately and made us both relax a bit more. It also restored my confidence as a parent and I was able to issue my missive with conviction, “Because I said so!”

Next night, it was my oldest who reminded me that I was in fact the boss in my house, but maybe not so much the grown-up sometimes. He came to me to practically beg for video game time, where he sweetly stays connected to a babyhood pal from Miami, even though it was a school night. I laughed. It was an obnoxious laugh, but I laughed heartily. I explained that it was a school night and late and not happening, noway, no how, no sir. And if that weren’t enough, I kept going and told him he could curse me all he wanted (not that he would ever out loud), that he could be mad, and frustrated, and whatever he needed to be, but that I needed to be the Mommy, and I was doing my job, and I was doing a darn good job of it, too, and I just went on and on, nonstop (kinda like this), until he couldn’t help but smile, and then laugh. Then I laughed, but this time, it was my “evil Mommy wins” laugh. Yeah, you know the one, bwah-ha-ha-ha-haaaa! At that point, he just walked away.

Yep, there’s three kids, so three lessons. My little one, who is just so darned cute it makes it difficult to discipline, was up next. Thankfully I have will of steel and can punish my way out of any mess. Interesting that the theme throughout this piece seems to all be connected to video games. That’s a subject for another post that will be entitled “Parenting: A full-time job with benefits, no vacation, and little to no training, thank goodness for video games!” Seriously though, the incident with my little one came about when I overheard him call his brother some pretty awful names. I went bananas. I did the in your face scary raised voice thing that could make a UFC fighter cry. When I went to his room (where I had banished him) to talk about the episode, I softened as the wave of recollection from my own childhood came over me. I was able to explain to my son that I got as upset as I did when he called his brother names, because my brother used to do that to me. I actually began to cry, and further explained that my brother hadn’t called me names in 30-plus years, but clearly it still hurt. Then I reinforced the notion of thinking before you speak and not lashing out in anger and not calling people hurtful things. It ended with an “I love you, Monkey” and a “love you, too, Mom.” Yeah, I pretty much kicked ass on that one, and those are some of the benefits you get with the job.

The truth is, I don’t do it alone, I am grateful to have an active and present co-parent in my ex-husband who I can bounce things off of and be supported by when an issue comes up, and vice versa, of course. I keep thinking about the birthday gift my kids and I put together for their Dad last year. When I asked the boys what they thought their Dad might want, one of them said “Well, he’s always asking for peace and quiet.” So that’s what we gave him!

My three sons!

My three sons!

I wonder if he’ll let me borrow them sometimes?!

Stay well.

Totems always come in handy when on the parenting job, those moments where I can’t seem to calm down, I work through the deep breathing and visualization techniques found in each Totem Tamer Set! If you want these handy tools at the ready, click on a Totem and get one today!